It was probably no coincidence that performance enhancing drugs in bodybuilding started to come to prominence at a time when bodybuilding first began to be recognized as a competitive activity.
Nowadays, anabolic steroids are illegal in most Western countries except when taken under medical supervision. In addition, the list of banned substances is a great deal longer and more detailed than it was back in the 70s, certainly in international sport.
Natural bodybuilding is the very antithesis of building your muscles up using drugs or banned substances, to the extent that ‘Natural bodybuilding’ means ‘bodybuilding without the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs’ according to Wikipedia.
One thing to understand about the banned substances that have become a plague on international sport and competition over the past 40 years or so is that most performance enhancers do not really help to enhance performance.
They allow anyone who is training to train harder for a longer period and to recover more quickly. Consequently, by using performance enhancing drugs, it is possible to build up muscle, stamina and fitness far more quickly than if the individual concerned was not abusing these substances.
To anyone who is interested in or is a proponent of natural bodybuilding, the use of artificial substances to help any individual taking part in competition to perform to a higher level than they might otherwise be able to achieve is an anathema.
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Bodybuilding and Toning Sessions For Beginners
The most common questions I am asked from skinny guys that are trying to bulk up and develop some muscle tone, is where they should start. Most have the drive and enthusiasm but are unsure of a weight and exercise routine to adopt that will bring success. This simple and easy to follow outline is a brilliant one for those just starting out or for those just simply wanting to add some weight training to their already existing program. I have had low impact sportspeople such as golfers right through to high impact sportspeople adopt this easy to manage routine and reap the rewards.
Always start with an activity that increases heart rate and gets the blood pumping through the body. You can simply do some star jumps or jogging on the spot or use a stationary bike or treadmill for this purpose. These apparatus can also be used on the off days from your weight training if you have the time. Make sure you drink water or a sports drink 15 minutes before you begin and it is imperative that you continue to hydrate during the session. For every 1% body weight lost due to fluid loss through sweating, will cause a 5% decrease in performance. So keep drinking, it will help you get more out of your session!
Not everyone has hours to spend on an exercise program and has the time to complete a lengthy daily routine. However, I would recommend that you go through the process outlined at least 2 to 3 times a week. This program can also be adapted in accordance with the time that you have available to you. It is suitable for both men and women and you will soon discover the appropriate weight loading according to your strength and development. In fact, you will be amazed at your ability to cope with an increase in weight a few weeks after you commence. However, start with light weights which will allow you to adopt the correct techniques.
Starting with the larger muscle groups has always been a common format and one that I would advise. Remember the order; warm up, stretch, chest exercises, shoulders, legs, biceps and triceps. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps for every activity mentioned with a weight that allows you to complete the 10 reps without total exhaustion. Also stretching the specific muscle group you are working on between sets will increase growth as you address the tissue that has been under load. Give yourself about 1 minute rest in between sets. Keep this timing consistent, as well as your routine for the first few weeks so you can better judge your growth and development. I suggest having a training partner to encourage and spot for you for safety reasons.
Ideally you will require some warm up equipment, a weight bench, a long barbell with a variety of weight discs that can be easily changed and at least 2 small dumbells for some one handed lifting exercises and a large exercise ball for seated activities. All of this equipment can be purchased new from most large retail stores or can be found incredibly cheaply at garage sales or in the second hand for sale section of the local newspaper. Try eBay and other online auctions for bargain prices. Larger machines can be inflexible, hard to store and require lots of space. However, if you have the room or already have one they will definitely do the job.
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